Degumming Silkworm Cocoons
To process your cocoons into silk fiber to hand-spin or for cosmetic poofs, and for an excellent silk protein hair shampoo-conditioner, just follow these steps :
- Wet the cocoons in warm water to cover.
- Add Dr. Bronner’s soap.
- For 100 cocons, use 1 cup.
- For 30 cocoons, use ½ cup.
- Or, use 1 cup per 1 oz of cocoons.
- Heat to a simmer and continue simmering for about 20 minutes, until the fiber, when pinched free of soapy liquid, is white and soft.
- Strain off the liquid for conditioner, rinse the cocoons well, and spread them out to air dry.
- When dry, soften by handling. When pulling out, remove and discard the small bit of silk caterpillar molt that the moth leaves behind when it exits to mate, lay eggs, and die happy.
- Pull them apart into long, fluffy sausage shapes and spin by spindle or wheel. For poufs, just open out slightly to the size you want.